Getaway! Day 4

Obligatory Arm's Length Family Photo

Obligatory Arm’s Length Family Photo

  • After 4 days of unrelenting aerosol mist precipitation and ass-clenching Septemberish temps, the Thompson-Durham family finally take a hint and pack up the goddamn tent.  We leave exactly one day sooner than planned, which is fine by all concerned.  Besides, we’re out of Snap Pops.   And the camouflage pants are beginning to reek of a smokey funk that can only be compared to a well-worn gym suit made of bacon.
  • Critical Dunes would probably be a whole lot cooler and a lot less up-tight if it changed its name to Chronic Dunes…man.
  • We meander down to Saint Joseph, a touristy lake town built on a solid bedrock foundation of Precious.  Within minutes of parking the car, I can feel my fillings ache with the Cuteness of It All.  The streets are populated with a fiberglass “art” menagerie called “Surf N’ Safari”, each creature gussied up in some wretched approximation of creativity.  There’s a “Wizard of Ostrich” with long pigtails and hideous ruby-covered three-toed feet, a garishly ethnic atrocity called “Barack A Llama”, and a startled-looking golfer gorilla on all fours.  I don’t know why the gorilla looks so startled, as it’s clearly asking for it, or,  Jane Goodall as might put it: “presenting”.
    Presenting Golfing Gorilla!

    Presenting Golfing Gorilla!

    Surf N’ Safari”… I feel so offended on so many levels, I toy with the idea of alerting the Beach Boys’ legal counsel to this blasphemous copyright infringement.   After all, this tacky shit is clearly stolen intellectual property and should be returned to its rightful owner.  It seems unfair that the “Wizard of Ostrich”, for instance,  is languishing on the streets like a ruby-slippered prostitute instead of  taking its rightful place as a desperately-needed element of whimsy in that cave of ennui known as Brian Wilson’s bedroom.

  • We took Mabel to the Curious Kid Museum where kids can “Touch, see, hear, smell, and taste the Wonders of Our World”.     In the span of only an hour, we visited a virtual Japan, boarded a weather-battered fishing boat, anchored our own news show, witnessed the phases of the moon, and harvested apples.  This was all well and good, but I really think the true educational value of the place lies in the experience of  fighting through mobs.  It’s important for children to know early on in life their place as a  teensy krill of sorts,  squirming in a pulsating cloud comprised of millions upon millions of other krill all swirling chaotically, yet somehow propelling in unison to an unknown destination as a cohesive mass held together by a thin web of terror of what lies outside it.  Hip-deep in this mad microcosm, I imagine each child encased within a car, careening on some expressway that hasn’t been created yet.  Watching Mabel tottering between the U-Pump Circulatory System to the U-Crank Electric Generator in the midst of this unending stream of death threats and indignities within this rush hour traffic, I feel my chest tightening.  It occurs to me Shazam-on-the-spot that Siddartha had it wrong: the sound of creation isn’t “Om“, the hum of peaceful unity, it’s “Me”.  “MmmmmMMMMMEEEEEEE”: at first a tiny ominousness in the distance, and deafening on approach.  Like the horn of an oncoming car that gives exactly zero point jack shit of a damn whether you live or die.
My Breaking Point
My Breaking Point
  • The less said about my panic attack at the Toddle Farm exhibit, the better. I was allowed to collect myself outside the museum, joining the ranks of dozens of wailing, overstimulated children.  Our hands had all been stamped upon exit in anticipation of our return, once we all pulled ourselves together.  I didn’t have the heart to tell my fellow refugees that it’s not very likely any of us will really be able to pull ourselves together, speaking from 40 years of experience on the matter.
  • After pizza and a pep-talk from my beloved and  long-suffering Kate, we enjoyed coffee and the stoner street musician stylings of a duo I’ll call the Flying Dorito Brothers.  As they sang the sadly inevitable lyric “Lately, it occurs to me/What a long, strange trip it’s been,” I see Mabel bobbing her head to the bass notes, a strangely worldly and knowing expression on her face.
  • As we drove to the southern border of the state, the sun finally emerged and turned Lake Michigan into sizzling white gold as if to say “Well, screw you, too, lady.”
The End

The End

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2 Responses to “Getaway! Day 4”

  1. peg Says:

    Where did you guys go in the trip? We have spent a lot of time in MI. I love the abandoned Pizza Hut at the beach.

    • hellraisin Says:

      We went to South Haven and Saint Joseph, but I was too much of a snobby asshole to enjoy myself. The abandoned Pizza Hut likes you, too.

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